Photo by: iStock

Surviving Working Mom Guilt

by Michelle of "Mind of Meesh"
Photo by: iStock

I am not writing this for sympathy, or for anyone to comment, “You can be a Stay-at-Home-Mom if you try hard enough”. There are a lot of personal reasons I choose to work that I am not here to debate.

With that being said, I do have days where I wish to be at home with my daughter instead of at work.

Here are the facts: I absolutely love my job, and I am finally at a good place in my life where I feel confident and happy with my career. I leave my job feeling great and I don’t dread coming into the office like some of my previous jobs.

I work in the middle of a quaint, downtown area where I frequent the local coffee shops and restaurants for lunch. I work in a community filled with a variety of moms, but I seem to run into the stay-at-home-moms at the cute coffee shops I frequent on a daily basis. Moms in their workout gear, or moms dressed to the nines carrying or pushing their strollers with their bundles of joys throughout the town. They are smiling and have their babies dressed in cute outfits. They appear to be very happy.

This is great until you are having a day like today where you miss your daughter, and just want to be home with her instead of wondering what it would be like to be one of them.

I know better than anyone that being a mom – working or staying at home – is tough, and not all roses and butterflies. I seem to forget that when I see these moms strolling around me, drinking their lattes, and laughing with their kids at the table.

Sometimes, I catch myself fantasizing what it would be like to not work and stay at home. I wonder how many times I would be able to get out of the house and enjoy the day at a downtown area. I remember thinking I was lucky enough to brew a pot of coffee at home much less be able to go to an actual coffee shop. But then again, Reese was a newborn, and now she is almost eight months.

She is so much fun, and I find myself wondering what it would be like to plan each day with just her and I. Again, I have a great job that would allow me to take a few days off and spend time with her, but it’s still different.

I find myself talking to these moms all the time to ask them about their baby, and then I gush about my baby for at least five minutes. They are probably thinking I am a crazy stranger, and hopefully they don’t think I am evil for not being at home with my baby, but I can’t help talking about my girl. It helps me cope and I get to feel like I am with her, when I am really not.

At the end of the day, I have to remind myself that if I was the mom in the coffee shop with my baby, I would notice the working mom walk in. She would most likely order a a large coffee (because she was up all night with her baby having to wake up extra early to get to work), play on her phone, and run off to the next meeting with her head cut off. I would look at her and know all of her challenges, but I would also envy her being able to still juggle it all; all the pros that come with still working.

Knowing myself, and knowing that I always want what I can’t have, I would start to dream about her lifestyle as well.

So, here is my little note to the mom I saw today. The mom I sometimes envy:

Dear SAHM Coffee Shop Mom,

Know that when I see you I DO get jealous, and I’m not going to lie about that, but I know that you are working hard and some days you feel like you want to run away. I see that you are struggling to get your daughter to put down the bags of chips and cookies because it’s breakfast time, not snack time. You are keeping your cool even when your toddler is about to blow. But keep your head up, put an extra shot of espresso in that coffee, and know how blessed you are and really how blessed all of us are for having children – a job that is unfortunately not granted to everyone. Also, thank you for allowing your little girl to say hi to me with a wave and a smile because sometimes a working mom needs that to remind her about how sweet her own child is.

All the best,

From the working mom who dragged into work today, and is thinking how quickly her baby will grow to have the same breakdown in the near future. You handled it pretty well I will say!

I guess what I am trying to say that no matter what route or direction you choose as a mom you are always going to fantasize about the life of another mom (especially if you are on Pinterest or follow other mom blogs).

It’s okay to tear up, it’s okay to have sad days, but it’s also okay to share these thoughts with other moms. And hopefully they’re other moms who won’t make you feel like crap or judge you.

We are all human, and mommy guilt is truly something that everyone will face no matter what your home-life is like. It’s how we deal with it that matters.

How do you deal with the dreaded Mommy Guilt?

Michelle is a thirty-something wife, working mom, stepmom, and Pinterest obsessed blogger. She strives to be a modern-day Wonder Woman, but is quickly learning that sometimes life has other plans. Read about family, food, fun and then some on her blog, Mind of Meesh. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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